Disclaimer: This is not designed to shock you, this is my true story about the slide into addiction. It’s likely you experienced a lot of the same issues as I did. I am sharing my story to show where exactly I made the connections to the truths stated in the method called Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, a rewrite of allen carr’s easy way adapted for porn, so that you may find it easier to do the same for yourself. With that in mind, here’s my journey and my findings.
Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking is very much rooted in repetition, so expect to hear similar statements paraphrased differently to help more people understand them and you to understand them better. The method is simple, but different metaphors will click better with different people.
Just One Peek
I was stuck in the PMO trap for 8 miserable years of my life. I was only 10 years old when I first discovered internet porn. At no point in my addiction did I enjoy myself even in the slightest. For the first time in my life, I felt true shame, like I had something to hide. Compartmentalization of such a detrimental habit was difficult in itself. These are the black shadows, mentioned in the book. Merely trying to hide my use was enough stress. It didn’t help that the ritual itself caused stress and immense discomfort in its wake.
That poor kid didn’t even want to use, but with the big monster telling him it was enjoyable and normal in the trap, and the Little Monster pushing him into it, he was helpless. “What would my grandfather think of me as he looked down upon me from the afterlife?” I immediately thought to myself after finishing that first session.
The shame was too great, and I hoped and prayed that each session that followed would be my last, the one to end it all. Alas, salvation never came. No matter how far I ran down the porn rabbit hole. Nothing but shame and misery I would find. This is because internet porn does not provide sexual gratification as I would come to find. This is self-evident, as no matter how much you use, you are always left wanting more. That promised land of enjoyment in porn, never coming, as it doesn’t exist. That’s the biggest porn industry lie of them all.
That feeling of shame would only repeat indefinitely with escalations into more and more genres of novelty and shock value, until I would go on to break the chains of addiction. It wouldn’t be long after that before my first experience with escalation, to a “worse” genre. It caused me just as much if not more shame than my first viewing, and led me to seriously question my sexuality. AT TEN YEARS OLD!!!
Birth of The Little Monster
I recall a time where I was in the car with my mother, I came to tears trying to explain to her the mental tug of war I was going through in the abstract sense. “There’s two parts of me, one of them wants to do bad things and one of them wants to do good things.” I said while sobbing. Enter the Little Monster.
I could perfectly explain each genre I escalated to without any shame, but that’s not productive. As my friend Fraser Patterson said, it’s important to eliminate the concept of genres from your mind. So for that sake, I won’t specify which. I could sit here for the rest of my life explaining to you which genres I escalated to, and brag about what I didn’t escalate to before getting out of the trap, but that’s not a bragging matter. There is nothing that a user wouldn’t have escalated to while in the PMO trap, given enough time.
As for my own meditations on the subject, it’s crucial to eliminate the concept of genres, because the idea of genres leads to the good porn bad porn mentality, which leads to bargaining, which leads to “just one peek” at a “good genre” which leads to the addiction trap and so on. Embed this firmly in your mind. There is no such thing as good porn.
The cycle I elaborated upon above would repeat for years. Over time, I slowly became more and more miserable and deprived with my everyday life. My mother and sister commented that once I started attending online school, where I inevitably had more time to slide further down the trap, I became like a zombie, or was on autopilot mode all the time. The only highs and lows of my life were determined by my porn use. On the note of highs and lows, the only highs of my life, in fact, was the small period of no more than 30 minutes to one hour per day where I felt like I didn’t have to use. Not much of a high at all actually, much more like a lack of low.
Wait, even that isn’t true! I was always left feeling low afterwards! There is no enjoyable part of the PMO process, or that of being a user! I implore you, please, do tell me when it gets good. Find me one, single instance where someone is happier or feels better while they are using. No, I’m dead serious. When does it get good? When is it enjoyable? Genuinely ask yourself this question. Let me break it down into steps. The dopamine rush comes from booting up because you anticipate some immense pleasure and euphoria in the act. You do the deed as fast as humanly possible, (because I thought I had to.) or at least I did to try and get it over with as soon as possible so that I could be glad that it’s over, for that small window of time, if at all.
Of course there is the user who edges for hours. Surely it must be because they enjoy it, correct? This is only a part of the endless desperate search of enjoyment in the PMO trap. Think about it. They only continue self-torturing because it causes even greater relief when the torture ends. It’s only like wearing tight shoes for a longer period of time for an even greater relief upon taking them off due to the compounded pain all seemingly leaving at the same time.
Still don’t believe me? Watch the video coomer.mp4, and tell me at what point of the process is he happy? The orgasm? He is in pain and coughing. You mean when he is happy that he doesn’t need to use anymore? Let’s see. He reaches orgasm at 1:45 and by 2:45 he immediately pauses and decides that “A little coom first wouldn’t hurt. One minute. One minute, during which the (exceedingly painful) orgasm is still taking place for some of it, he feels that he doesn’t have to use. Is this even exaggeration? I have had instances where I didn’t even stop viewing after that point because I was still looking for the happiness in it. “That’s it?” is what goes through your brain subconsciously.
Dream Theater Shill Part I: The Miracle And The Sleeper
There’s a song called Octavarium by Dream Theater. It’s about a comatose patient trying to regain consciousness. Some of the lyrics in the song are “To live each day just like the last.” and “This story ends where it began.” When listening to it after a year or so of online school and living my entire life for about a year solely on the internet; without knowing the meaning of the lyrics beforehand, I connected it to my own life and how I lived. I was barely even conscious myself. I was moving in circles. My life as a deprived user was a vicious cycle. I wasn’t just trapped inside an “Octavarium” however, I was trapped in the cycle!
As I continued down the trap, and my human social interaction nearly non-existent, I constantly searched for a superficial out. I eventually ended up slowly descending into the Tulpa/Waifu thing as a noteworthy escalation. Whereas most users marry porn figuratively, I did it literally. I hadn’t seen my real life friends in months at that point, and I isolated myself from them in favor of my fantasies.
Compartmentalization became harder and harder as time went on. I eventually told them about this thing, and it caused a schism in our friend group, as well as the escalations of other open users in our group, and I was dropped by them for this. This led me to becoming extremely anti-social for 2 and half more years. Every friend I had was online at that point.
I even went to a really nice tight-knight school of around 1500 people (which I loved). I was invited to a hiking club, every teacher and peer made attempts to get to know me better, but I didn’t take these interactions anywhere. The person I considered to be my best friend was someone I met on steam who lived 9000 miles away from me in another hemisphere. We were both depressed porn addicts so we got along quite nicely for many years. A good guy to be sure, but if I took the time spent sending him over 40,000 messages on discord, I could have at least sent 26 messages to each of my student peers at that school, and I guarantee you I would have made at least one real life friend at that school. Or you know, I could have talked to them in real life with all of that time.
I was content having my only friends be online, and all my free time spent playing World of Warcraft. I remember envying those who were able to spend upwards of 120 days in game over the course of just 2 years. I spent 85+ days of my life over 2 years playing World of Warcraft. And they considered me a casual player. It was the rat race to see who could waste more of their time into trying to achieve false goals.
Just Once a Week!
There was a period of one year where I lived in a cramped house where I was only able to have the privacy to use about once a week. I cited this as one of the happier points in my life before freeing myself of addiction, because I was only overloading on dopamine 1/7th the amount I was previously able to. Do not mistake my intent, however. This may seem to be the ideal situation for brainwashed users who believe that following a once a week porn diet can be enjoyable. I actually didn’t have the time to do it because I was so preoccupied with other things like school and family activities. PMO only caused these activities to be more stressful because at all times I was carefully calculating my next session so I could run off and use as quickly as I could, rushing through genuinely enjoyable activities to do something miserable. This wasn’t actually a step forward because as soon as I had the space I needed to use daily again, I began doing just that. In fact, my use was even more than it had been before that period of a year, so that I could catch up on all the pinned enjoyment. Alas, I found no such enjoyment, and just fell into an even more depressive rut. This memory does help me solidify in my head from my own experiences that: If the criterion is less, then the accolade should be none at all. Roughly paraphrased: If less is more enjoyable, then none at all should be ecstatic. Evidently, it is.
Jumping forward to the end of 2019. I had just turned 18. My birthday wish? To never have to use porn ever again. A part of becoming an adult I thought. That didn’t last very long after making the wish, because I didn’t understand the nature of the PMO trap. It did eventually come true though, less than a year later. Thank you copyright infringer and spammer^2.
A Cruel Reality
The coomer meme is in about a month after making that wish, and I find hilarity in the relatability and reality of the gag. “Am I a coomer?” I ask myself. I bargain with myself as all addicts do, and eventually come to the conclusion that I wasn’t. But I certainly was and I knew that deep down inside. copyright infringer and spammer says the coomer meme is the best meme. I and many others agree with him. One person said “Coomer.mp4 is epic. That like, solid month or so of coomer memes on 4chan last year was what got me started on trying to kick my porn addiction.” This happened to me and many others as well.
At Least I’m Not Watching Porn
Right around New Years I went on vacation from that same cramped house back into a more quiet house. The thing is, I had family that I hadn’t seen for well over a year visiting on that vacation. I instead chose to spend my time MOing every morning and night that trip, to porn induced fantasies, with a substitute in roleplay, and a huge spike in novelty and shock value. I remember specifically leaving the room after hours of edging, only to find out that my siblings were hanging out in the living room watching the End of Evangelion, and I missed out on some of it because I had “better” things to be doing. Quite ironically, I was doing that during the infamous opening scene of the End of Evangelion. I felt awful after that, and for the rest of the trip, and my life for the next 5 months, I would self-loathe over my choices frequently. I would apologize to my family repeatedly for not being present, and they would sympathize, saying “We understand you were just tired from all the stress.” My heart sank every time I heard them buy into my excuse. I almost wanted them to incriminate what I would come to know as the Little Monster in me. That stress was caused by the constant ejaculation on that trip, not relieved by it!
I went into 2020 with vindication in my cause to end this misery once and for all. My New Year’s wish: to never use porn again. For the first month of 2020, I didn’t use porn, but I frequently engaged in the same substitute I wasted all that time on vacation with. I saw this as progress, but how can you possibly cure addiction to a drug by using the same drug?
In March of 2020, I made a throwaway on NoFap (now deleted) where I complained about the so-called blue balls from not masturbating (myth) where I would swiftly have “just one peek” at “not porn” to cure the discomfort I presumed to be caused by not using porn which was caused by using in the first place, and only worsened by using. Of course I totally peeked with the intent of a porn user, even if it was just softcore ogling. That’s how I learned about the danger of just one peek, the hard way. Remember that it was just one peek that got you hooked in the first place.
I would have a few fleeting attempts at controlling this addiction with sheer willpower. All brainwashed beliefs still in place. The attempts were futile, such is the willpower method. If you want to use the drug, it’s in your pocket, you will use, unless you remove the desire to use by understanding the truth about porn.
My english teacher in senior year was obviously playing devil’s advocate here, but he did end up saying something along the line of. “Internet Porn is just a normal part of human sexual development.” At the moment I was quietly furious, but I know he was just trying to incite discussion about controversial societal injustices such as the porn addiction epidemic.
My favorite statistic on porn, came from my economics teacher (also in senior year). “If you took all of the porn on the internet, and stretched it out across a timeline, it would outlast the entirety of human history until this point in time.” I was speechless as I sat there in class. But what was I supposed to do about it?! I thought to myself. I would find out in just about 3 months.
In April it was corona season, and I was in a depressive rut, where I would spend entire days laying in bed between PMO sessions, mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, 4chan, YouTube, and Discord, for an accumulated screen time of 7 hours per day in that last dreadful week. Not counting the time I played on my Nintendo Switch in bed as well.
At some point in the day, I was on /fit/, and found a post about relapse during quarantine. I sympathized obviously, and decided to click on it. One person in the replies linked to a book called Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, a rewrite of Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking adapted for porn. I immediately bookmarked it and saved it upon reading the preface. Within 2-3 days I had read the whole book, and went on a hike to think about it before my final session.
Get Me Out Of Here.
I had my final session with the “best” porn I could think of, which led to a feeling of elation afterwards, but the good porn bad porn belief led to a tinge of melancholy that would set the tone for my MO within 2 weeks, following a caffeine withdrawal interestingly, bargaining with myself that I had quit porn, not masturbation. The Little Monster said to me in the act. “Don’t worry, the porn will come.” I did not heed his warning seriously, and sure enough it did, 2 weeks after that. Suddenly I was back in the PMO trap, and out of desperation, speedread the book again, absorbing none of the message. Within hours I relapsed and binged. And for a few weeks I felt pretty close to the way I did back in April. Clearly there was some flaw. Not in my mentality, but in my mentality, but I had similar experiences several times, where I would come home after a long hike, during which I would consume caffeine. I would come down from the caffeine when I came home, and then I would MO. This happened over three times. I would strongly advise against using other substances that may leave your body in an uncomfortable withdrawal state, as it could very well interfere with your recovery. In my experience, I would find myself left in a pang, caused by the caffeine I consumed, but my body and mind would see this deprived feeling as a need to use porn. Remember Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking won’t cause you to replace this addiction with other addictions, such as overeating, smoking or drinking. I’ve since sworn off caffeine, as it does nought but make me feel exhausted.
I did end up checking out the subreddit in a bout of doubt, and saw all the relapse reports, and my first thought was, this place can’t be good for me to spend my time in. This is because seeing all of these things leads to two things. A. Taking comfort in a relapse cycle with the science of relativity, or B. Instilling fear and doubt regarding the method, which feeds the monsters.
The Little Monster had one last trick up his sleeve, one last hurrah. He took me to /soc/, under the guise that I was just trying to make friends. The Little Monster was getting funny ideas however. I became growingly discontent and aware of the self-sabotage I was taking part in. I decided I was going to make a calculated escape, and escape this filthy ritual once and for all. And I had the tools to do it, with Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking and my own mindfulness in the matter.
My mindset going in was essentially to take the ideas of Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, and replace all instances of porn with masturbation, and PMO with MO. Because in my case, MO led me into the PMO trap. This is where I filled in the blanks left by Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking.
The first thing I would come to do is divorce the phone in bed. It was destroying my ability to sleep, my ability to get out of bed, and my ability to be mindful.
Now we all know that humans hate doing what they perceive as absolutely nothing. We want to be as efficient as possible. Therefore, why not spend every waking second of your free time consuming media?
For the first time in years I found myself able to get a full night’s worth of sleep, uninterrupted by the desperate reach for my smartphone in the middle of the night keeping me awake. This would give me a feeling of elation in itself.
I would reread the book slowly, one chapter per day. I applied the mentality of the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen (Improving a small percentage steadily on a daily basis.) which was incorporated into my high school’s curriculum, but instead of cutting down, because cutting down isn’t an improvement as you’re still taking the same drug, I would apply that to the betterment of my mentality. My mentality would improve slowly each day, and I would become better off physically and mentally each day with my freedom.
Filling in the blanks left by Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking was key here. Taking what is said in the book and applying it on a broader scale was key here. In my recovery process, I knew it was essential for me to identify MO as having no benefit, and causing me to slip. Doing that took a bit of working with myself. Here’s an example of what I did exactly.
Masturbation isn’t a detriment, but it also has no real benefit and semen retention just feels better. I also identified it as part of the trap in my mind, as it was in my case. The Little Monster used it to get his dopamine fix. Chasing dopamine for me, in turn led to more dopamine-seeking behaviors as I became evermore resistant to the doses of it. That’s how I ended up relapsing the first time.
MO is just that, two of the three components of the PMO trap. Depending on which way you look at it, the effects of MO should vary slightly from user to user. At the end of the day though there really is no benefit to MO either. The O just makes you groggy and fogs up your brain in all honesty.
Trial By Fire/Final Session?
Interestingly, when browsing 4chan and passing through the immense amount of porn and porn ads on there, I never once got aroused or wanted to look at it. I just automatically averted my eyes. This was proof for me that I didn’t want to use. Essentially a stand in for what the final session should be, seeing the trap for what it is. When I noticed this, I knew that I was free. Even when presented with it unwillingly it didn’t change me. I saw the trap for what it was and knowing it was there in the corner of my eyes before scrolling past it only solidified my decision. It was nothing but filth. When you make the positive decision to be free, it is final and you are happy with it. There was no will in me to use. An inverse of the perceived situation. It would take me much willpower to convince myself to endure such self-torture. I’m not walking on ice, I’m walking on cement and have no reason to willingly walk on ice.
It’s funny, while rereading slowly each day, I didn’t even want to use, it was just for the sake of being proactive, to make sure I fully understood. I did not limit my usage while reading with willpower, however at no point during this reread did I feel that I had even wanted to use. Admittedly, daily reading became every other day around page 25, and at about page 50, I stopped completely because I didn’t even want to use, and other things occupied my mind at that point. I don’t even remember the last time I PMOed. That’s how completely and utterly worthless the act is.
Whenever I was confronted with porn industry propaganda, I was armed with the information I needed to dispel it on the spot, emotionally certain that it wasn’t what I wanted to do down in my heart. And I had vindication in not using because each day I felt better. Each day wasn’t a battle, but a blessing, to be free from having to partake in this filthy ritual. It’s not just a disturbing fact of life. I don’t have to use porn. I don’t even want to use anymore, and I feel better having quit.
I would go on to firstly, play a ton of video games out of my backlog. I felt like I had recaptured that childhood awe and wonder, as if I had been born again. Even the most frivolous, menial tasks were enjoyable in my freedom. The possibilities were endless. Freedom itself was enjoyable, and it was fun to catch up on all my missed years of childhood, but I had better goals in mind. I can do better than this I thought. So after a few weeks I got a full time job, started exercising, reading, learning how to cook, and eventually bake.
I did not use the subreddit or discord until becoming a non-user. I joined the subreddit a few weeks after becoming a non-user with intentions of sharing what I found in the book.
There was a tinge of obsession stuck in my mind a few weeks in, where I’d ask myself how long it had been every once in a while, and I would retort with, “I’m free for the rest of my life.” Sure enough, I am. By the time the famed month and 90 day reboot came around, I hardly felt different from I had the day before, and my thoughts honestly amounted to little more than, “It’s already been that long?”
I can hardly imagine now how awful I would feel if I had to deal with the stress of porn on top of the stresses of daily life. That and the endless tug of war with myself I had to endure to not cross the red line with “worse” genres. As if all porn wasn’t awful.
You never know when to give up, do you?
I would have a few run-ins with the Little Monster however. And you will too until he is starved to death. Fret not, as he is not a birth defect, and he is not inseparable from you. The phrasing Little Monster seems childish, but it makes all too much sense. He has embedded himself into your mind. He feeds off the mental tug of war you play with yourself. You needn’t have a war with yourself to stop yourself from taking a societally acknowledged poison such as cyanide, so why would you need to do so for a poison of the mind and body such as porn? I still fail to exaggerate here even in the slightest.
First run-in. I was talking to an old (online) friend. I quite literally just mentioned the name of a female video game character, and his response was “You’ll awaken things inside me.” At first, I thought of the things he was talking about, the porn. I started doubting myself slightly, but then I put it into a more truthful perspective. My honest and very judgmental thoughts were, “At what point can you not even hear the name of a female fictional character without wanting to use porn?” I didn’t say it, but it solidified my decision to quit, and was a pivotal moment in my recovery where I decided to pity, not envy the user. This guy must be a miserable user if he thinks like that!
Second run-in. Was laying awake in bed, left alone to my thoughts. I remembered someone I had a crush on for a while. I had sexual thoughts, but I let them come as they weren’t porn thoughts. I explored them fully and there wasn’t much there. I could have MOed right there. But I remembered what happened last time I did that, and how it led to my relapse. I thought to myself that it wasn’t really worth it and probably wouldn’t even feel good anyways. “You know all too well where this has led you in the past.” (referring to MO) The little monster had no response. This is the moment that solidified my choice to not MO.
Third run-in. The night after I went on a date, I was fairly satisfied with what we ended up doing. A fun experience, nothing sexual at all. There may have been a sliver of porn brain left in me at that point, and the Little Monster was crying. “That’s it? No sex?” He demanded propagative sex with this person. At this point it was so out of line with my line of thinking that I was certain it was just the Little Monster clawing for a fix. This is when the Little Monster’s true intent was shown, and once I understood it, I left /soc/.
Burying The Hatchet
At this point, I’m confident I’ve escaped the trap. Each day is a blessing, I’m no longer engaging in substitutes, and I followed every instruction in the book and there’s only one thing left to do. Share my story.
So, I came out and shared my story with some very old friends who I had harmed/lost in my addiction. They were accepting and helped spread the message even further, some of my friends even came around and decided to read for themselves, users and non-users alike. I then came out and shared my story with my siblings and my parents. Coming out and sharing my story was difficult because of the shame aspect, but shame is a big proponent of addiction, so I cast away my shame, as this issue is certainly not unique to me. I compartmentalized my addiction for long enough out of fear. I won’t let this secret die in darkness. I’ll be among the first to come out and share their recovery openly, so hopefully others will inquire and follow suit, and we can put an end to the scandal for good.
Burying the hatchet is a very powerful experience. It helped me immensely in casting away my shame, moving forward in my practice, and I even rekindled very old friendships in the process. Not everyone took too kindly to my ideas, however. Friends and acquaintances who identified themselves with their porn use were quick to distance themselves from me, and were the first to go. Sharing my positive changes and ideas with people was a really great way to find out who my real friends were, however. You may wish to do the same yourself, but it is by no means necessary. Just a great experience that I have zero regrets in doing.
P.S. Meditation is key
I am now happily going about my life, the thought of using porn not even an echo or thought in my mind. My concerns are only that other people may go the rest of their lives not knowing that quitting was easy and that there was never any reason to use porn in the first place. So I look to share my story with others so that they don’t have to suffer anymore as I did. I even made a video art project showing my journey for everyone to see and learn from.